What I Learned About Love, Death, and Fatherhood on Sawtooth Peak
Courtney took a step and immediately went into a slide. Time went into slow motion. My left hand still had a strong purchase on the rock and my right hand gripped the trekking pole that she was hanging on to. As her full weight started to load the system, she swung underneath me. The inertia was far greater than I was expecting and I felt the sharp pinch of fear throughout my body. I felt my hand slipping off the hold I had on the rock. I couldn’t let her go. Then I lost my grip on the rock and we started to slide. It was over. I knew in a matter of seconds we would be airborne, free falling 800+ feet to our deaths…
A Mountain of Disappointment
There is a bottomless list of reasons to turn around on any climbing expedition, let alone a mountain as big as Volcan Cayambe. Set high in the Andes mountains just outside of Quito, Ecuador, Cayambe is a common mountaineering objective for our College Semester Program and other courses with a mountaineering focus. During my semester as a student in the Spring of 2016, attempting to summit Cayambe felt like a culmination of our hard work throughout the semester. There was a good chance that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us students, and we were willing to give our full effort to this mountain. But we never got the chance.
It is easy to lock in our roles as fathers, mothers, and children. Most of us live within routines that cause us to say and do the same things over and over. We go to work or school at the same places, hang out with the same people, look at the same screens, and engage in the same activities. We get comfortable. This is not necessarily negative, but sometimes God wants to shake up our lives. Get us out of our comfort zones.